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Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Joshua FOER
oldest myths about savants is that they were destined to be born into this world as geniuses, but by some terrible twist of fate had all of their aptitudes curtailed but one.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 3245-46 - Highlight on Page 236 | Added on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Allan Snyder, an Australian neuroscientist who popularized TMS as an experimental tool, uses the technique to temporarily induce savantlike artistic skills in otherwise normal people by targeting the left frontotemporal lobe (the same region that is often damaged in savants). After having the left temporal lobe zapped, subjects can draw more accurate pictures from memory, and can more quickly estimate the number of dots flashed on a screen. Snyder calls his device a ?creativity-amplifying machine.? He might as well call it the savant cap.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 3096-3100 - Highlight on Page 226 | Added on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 10:44 PM
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His memoir, Born on a Blue Day, became a New York Times bestseller in America, and quickly rose to number one in the Amazon UK rankings. Daniel became perhaps the most famous living savant in the world.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2924-26 - Highlight on Page 214 | Added on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Snyder calls his device a ?creativity-amplifying machine.? He might as well call it the savant cap.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 3099-3100 - Highlight on Page 226 | Added on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 10:43 PM
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a new documentary called Brainman about one of those rare prodigies. The subject of the film, which aired on the Science Channel, was a twenty-six-year-old British savant named Daniel Tammet, whose brain had been altered by an epileptic seizure he suffered as a toddler. Daniel could perform complex multiplication and division in his head, seemingly effortlessly. He could tell you if any number up to ten thousand was a prime. Most savants have just a single claim to exceptionality, a lone ?island of genius,? but Daniel had a veritable archipelago. In addition to his lightning calculations, he was also a hyperpolyglot?a term used to describe the small number of people who can speak more than six languages. Daniel claimed to speak ten, and he said he learned Spanish in a single weekend. He?d even invented a language of his own called Mänti. To test his linguistic skills, the producers of Brainman flew Daniel to Iceland, and gave him one week to become conversational in Icelandic, one of the world?s most notoriously difficult languages. The talk-show host who tested him on national television at the end of the week pronounced himself ?amazed.?
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2901-8 - Highlight on Page 212 | Added on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 10:42 AM
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one neuroanatomical anomaly that turns up again and again in savants, including Kim: damage in the brain?s left hemisphere. Interestingly, the exaggerated abilities of savants are almost always in right-brain sorts of activities, like visual and spatial skills, and savants almost always have trouble with tasks that are supposed to be primarily the left-brain?s domain, such as language.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 3063-65 - Highlight on Page 224 | Added on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 10:40 PM
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the same week that Rain Man was released, a CT scan of Kim?s brain revealed that his cerebellum, an organ crucial to sensory perception and motor function, was severely distended. An earlier scan had discovered that Kim also lacks a corpus callosum, the thick bundle of neurons that connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain, and allows them to communicate. It?s an incredibly rare condition, but how it might contribute to his savantism isn?t at all clear.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 3050-53 - Highlight on Page 223 | Added on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 10:39 PM
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synesthesia, the same perceptual disorder that afflicted the journalist S, in which the senses are intertwined. By one estimate, there are more than a hundred different varieties of the disorder. For S, sounds conjured up visual imagery. In Daniel?s case, numbers take on a distinctive shape, color, texture, and emotional ?tone.?
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2950-52 - Highlight on Page 216 | Added on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, 10:29 PM
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The less avid fans remembered fewer important facts about the game and were more likely to recount superficial details like the weather. Because they lacked a detailed internal representation of the game, they couldn?t process the information they were taking in. They didn?t know what was important and what was trivial. They couldn?t remember what mattered. Without a conceptual framework in which to embed what they were learning, they were effectively amnesics.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2859-62 - Highlight on Page 208 | Added on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 11:34 PM
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The Latin root inventio is the basis of two words in our modern English vocabulary: inventory and invention. And to a mind trained in the art of memory, those two ideas were closely linked.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2790-92 - Highlight on Page 203 | Added on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 10:43 PM
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Tedium was actually seen as a virtue. And the teachers were backed up by a popular scientific theory known as ?faculty psychology,? which held that the mind consisted of a handful of specific mental ?faculties? that could each individually be trained, like muscles, through rigorous exercise. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, a group of leading psychologists began to question the empirical basis of ?faculty psychology.? In his 1890 book Principles of Psychology, William James set out to see ?whether a certain amount of daily training in learning poetry by heart will shorten the time it takes to learn an entirely different kind of poetry.? He spent more than two hours over eight successive days memorizing the first 158 lines of the Victor Hugo poem ?Satyr,? averaging fifty seconds a line. With that baseline established, James set about memorizing the entire first book of Paradise Lost. When he returned to Hugo, he found that his memorization time had actually declined to fifty-seven seconds a line. Practicing memorization had made him worse at it, not better.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2633-41 - Highlight on Page 193 | Added on Monday, November 26, 2012, 10:48 PM
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person-action-object,? or, simply, PAO. It traces its lineage directly back to the loopy combinatorial mnemonics of Giordano Bruno and Ramon Llull. In the PAO system, every two-digit number from 00 to 99 is represented by a single image of a person performing an action on an object.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2238-40 - Highlight on Page 165 | Added on Saturday, November 24, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Bell in his book Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2140-41 - Highlight on Page 156 | Added on Saturday, November 24, 2012, 12:45 PM
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In one noted experiment, typists were repeatedly flashed words 10 to 15 percent faster than their fingers were able to translate them onto the keyboard. At first they weren?t able to keep up, but over a period of days they figured out the obstacles that were slowing them down, and overcame them, and then continued to type at the faster speed.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2350-53 - Highlight on Page 172 | Added on Saturday, November 24, 2012, 03:17 PM
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They believe that Galton?s wall often has much less to do with our innate limits than simply with what we consider an acceptable level of performance.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2326-27 - Highlight on Page 171 | Added on Saturday, November 24, 2012, 03:13 PM
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the three stages that anyone goes through when acquiring a new skill. During the first phase, known as the ?cognitive stage,? you?re intellectualizing the task and discovering new strategies to accomplish it more proficiently. During the second ?associative stage,? you?re concentrating less, making fewer major errors, and generally becoming more efficient. Finally you reach what Fitts called the ?autonomous stage,? when you figure that you?ve gotten as good as you need to get at the task and you?re basically running on autopilot. During that autonomous stage, you lose conscious control over what you?re doing.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 2308-12 - Highlight on Page 169 | Added on Saturday, November 24, 2012, 02:06 PM
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Now, anthropomorphizing the bottles of wine is quite a good idea,? Ed suggested. ?Animate images tend to be more memorable than inanimate images.?
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 1395-96 - Highlight on Page 101 | Added on Tuesday, November 06, 2012, 11:41 AM
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Now, it?s very important to try to remember this image multisensorily.? The more associative hooks a new piece of information has, the more securely it gets embedded into the network of things you already know, and the more likely it is to remain in memory.
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 1354-56 - Highlight on Page 99 | Added on Tuesday, November 06, 2012, 11:36 AM
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first described in a short, anonymously authored Latin rhetoric textbook called the Rhetorica ad Herennium,
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 1288-89 - Highlight on Page 94 | Added on Tuesday, November 06, 2012, 11:29 AM
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(The phrase ?in the first place? is a vestige from the art of memory.)
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything - Joshua FOER Loc. 1691 - Highlight on Page 123 | Added on Tuesday, November 06, 2012, 09:24 PM
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